July 2010 Councilor News

Gentlemen of the Class of '60:

The 50th Reunion was . . . the superlatives fail me, for once . . . over-the-top, unique, great, relaxed! Thank you, Dick Chase and Bill Gundy and your innumerable helpers. My only complaint: there wasn't enough time to spend with everyone. 

The AC Report on the Status of fraternities, sororities and co-ed organizations aka Greek Letter Organizations [GLOs] is now posted at http://alumni.dartmouth.edu/default.aspx?id=1465. It is most worthwhile and depressing to read.

In the hope that I could fault the report for being overly dramatic and alarmist, I visited my and a few other fraternity houses during Reunion. I am sorry to say that, if anything, the report was not damning enough. The GLOs unquestionably need help, as the report suggests. But, in my opinion, first GLOs have to be willing to help themselves and to recognize that they need help. I am hoping that there are houses on campus that do not conform to the reported standards, but I haven't seen one. I would greatly appreciate your suggestions as to what alumni could and should do in response to the report. 

For the next year, I will chair the standing Athletics Committee of the Council. (The committee was re-created recently by splitting the Student Affairs Committee into two because there is simply too much ground to cover: one will handle all aspects of athletics and the other will deal with non-athletic student affairs.) If you have any particular athletically-tinged topics that you want us to take up, please let me know as soon as possible. One topic I'd like to explore is the students' view (both of athletes and non-athletes) of the contribution that athletics make, could make and should make to life at Dartmouth. We will of course also report on varsity, club, intramural and recreational sports. I will appreciate any suggestions as to what you want to hear about . . . and that applies of course not only to the area of athletics.

The Board of Trustees held a regular meeting in mid-June. The trustees approved budgets for fiscal 2011, elected two new members (Trevor Rees-Jones '73 and Peggy Epstein Tanner '79), notified the Alumni Council that there are vacancies in two alumni-nominated trustee positions, and took other actions. For details go online at: http://now.dartmouth.edu/2010/06/board-of-trustees/ and
http://now.dartmouth.edu/2010/06/dartmouth-elects-two-new-trustees/.

Previously, in their April meeting, the Board of Trustees had elected Stephen Mandel '78 as the next chairman of the Board. Mandel, whose term began June 13, succeeds Ed Haldeman '70, now the CEO of Freddie Mac, who had reached the end of his three-year term as chair. Mandel, a charter trustee and founder of the financial management firm Lone Pine Capital, was elected to the Board in 2007, and had previously headed the Investment Committee. 

There are now two vacant alumni-nominated trustee positions. This very likely means that elections for these positions will be held in the spring of 2011 and that the Alumni Council needs to nominate candidates before that. You will be asked to suggest alumni who would make outstanding trustees.

My more immediate concern, though, is whether the AC, i.e. the alumni as a whole, should nominate one or more candidates for each open slot. For the last round of elections, in which Mort Kondracke and John Replogle were elected, the AC chose to nominate only one candidate for each position. The reasoning was that in the several previous elections, when the AC had nominated more than one candidate, petition candidates had had an unfair advantage because the AC-nominated candidates tended to split the vote. The intent was to make it a head-on-head election by nominating one person only, in the expectation that he or she would be opposed by a petition candidate. That worked out in the Replogle-Asch race; but Kondracke ran unopposed.

I would like your input . . . but not the political variety! I am asking for input on how to elect a trustee who has the support of the majority of alumni voting. In other words, do we want the AC to nominate one or more candidates; how do we fairly set up a one-on-one election? I think it is also fair to say that a complete re-overhaul of the alumni-trustee election system has absolutely no chance of being considered at this point. So, don't get too complicated. I am looking for simple suggestions! (I know, I know, nothing is "simple" . . . but let's try anyway.) You may want to read an article in this connection that was published in The Dartmouth on April 7, 2010. While I don't necessarily agree with some of the shadings that the reporter was able to include, it is overall, a reasonably balanced report. The article is posted on our Class website. 

For the official minutes of the 200th Alumni Council meeting in early May of this year (prepared by Sarah Sinclair) please see http://alumni.dartmouth.edu/default.aspx?id=84. On our Class website you will find yet another summary, prepared by Brooks Clark '78, of that same meeting, that expands on my own comments.

Here are several links that might be of interest:
www.alumni.dartmouth.edu (Alumni Relations Home Page)
www.alumni.dartmouth.edu/greennews (Green News)
www.alumni.dartmouth.edu/voxbox (Vox Box Multimedia page)
www.alumni.dartmouth.edu/council/ResourcesforAlumni(Resources for Alumni from the Dartmouth Council)
www.alumni.dartmouth.edu/alumnicareers (Dartmouth Career Network)
www.voxthevote.org (Election Web Site)
http://alumni.dartmouth.edu/default.aspx?id=1693 (re 2009-2010 Dartmouth Alumni Award winners)

Have a great summer.

Axel